The rise of the internet as the premiere marketing platform has created all sorts of metrics – so many, in fact, that it can be bewildering for dentists to try to figure out what truly matters when in comes to practice growth.
SmartBox has decided to cut through the “smoke and mirrors” to produce a very manageable list key performance indicators for dental practices. The 5 A’s are the metrics that you absolutely must hit if you’re going to grow your practice.
Before diving into those metrics, let’s clarify that not all dental practices grow in the same way. Some doctors are simply looking for more patients, either to fill their chairs or to prepare to add an associate or another location. Some dentists want higher-value cases to bolster their bottom line and/or to work less.
Some are interested in building practice valuation with an eye toward eventual sale. And some are interested in funding a truly comfortable retirement.
Regardless of your definition of growth, you need to hit the marks on the 5 A’s to achieve it.
Your call Answer rate is a key metric important for this reason – if a new patient calls your practice during business hours, but doesn’t talk with a live person, your marketing investment is wasted. That’s money that you simply won’t get back.
Hard data shows that most front offices don’t answer nearly as many incoming calls as the doctors believe. That’s not to take anything away from hard-working team members. Unanswered calls are usually down to staffing issues and/or assignment issues.
Team members who are trying to juggle in-office patients with incoming calls are going to miss some calls. Not having a dedicated person to answer the phone during lunch results in many missed calls as that’s when working people have the time to contact your practice.
As with the Answered rate, a new patient who could have been Appointed but isn’t wastes your marketing dollars.
Front offices generally aren’t as proficient as they could be in turning new callers into Appointed patients. There are few “naturals” when it comes to properly Greeting and Engaging a caller, dealing with objections and the reasons behind them, taking control of the call, and moving to set the appointment at the perfect time.
SmartBox offers dental practice-specific phone training designed to turn front offices into new patient-appointing powerhouses.
It’s one thing to set a new patient appointment. It’s another to take all possible steps to ensure that the new patient actually Attends the appointment. No dental practice can endure a lot of open slots in the schedule.
Missed new patient appointments are generally due to unspoken, unaddressed objections during the initial call. The patient might be fearful about being embarrassed, experiencing pain, or not trusting that the practice can help.
As every dentist knows too well these days, patients won’t always agree to get and pay for all the dental care they need. Case solution acceptance is another key metric that determines your growth; higher acceptance rates drive your average case value and your bottom-line profits.
Increasing your Average case value hits a number of the growth objectives – practice valuation, retirement, working less, and a healthier bottom line. Even dentists who enjoy working hard for long hours will benefit.
Those are SmartBox’s 5 A’s, and they’re now the model for all the practices we serve. If you’d like to explore how we hit growth goals for our clients, and what we can do for you, schedule your Practice Growth Call.